Susceptibility of Chrysochus auratus, a natural enemy of spreading dogbane, to insecticides used in wild blueberry production

Authors

  • H. L. Crozier,

    1. Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS, Canada
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  • G. C. Cutler

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS, Canada
    • Correspondence

      G. Christopher Cutler (Corresponding author), Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, P.O. 550, Truro, NS, B2N 5E3, Canada. E-mail: chris.cutler@dal.ca

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Abstract

Insect pest management in wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) usually involves insecticidal sprays, which may have detrimental effects on non-target beneficial insects. Dogbane beetle (Chrysochus auratus Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feeds almost exclusively on spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium L.), an increasing weed problem in wild blueberry production. Because C. auratus is an important natural enemy of spreading dogbane, we assessed its susceptibility to several insecticides it may be exposed to during insect pest management. In laboratory bioassays, we found adult dogbane beetles were highly susceptible to field rates of phosmet (Imidan) and acetamiprid (Assail) by direct topical contact and ingestion of treated foliage, whereas no mortality was seen with spirotetramat (Movento) and chlorantraniliprole (Altacor). Topical applications of spinetoram (Delegate) did not cause significant mortality of beetles, but high mortality to beetles was found when they ingested spinetoram-treated foliage. The results suggest that while some insecticides used in blueberry management will be hazardous to C. auratus, options are available that will cause little harm to this natural enemy.

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